Gitmo, Yankee Imperialism & Bermuda – Treason?

Well, I logged on in order to write a more substantial piece on the cruise ship gambling, but the Gitmo Bermudian settlement has kind of trumped that for now.

I’ve written a piece on Progressive Minds and started a poll there as well (see http://www.progressiveminds.bm/?q=node/380), which I wrote more or less after only reading the report on CNN and the RG. I have since had a chance to scope out the other blogs and forums. VexedBermoothes has a good article on the issue, and there is a running thread on the forums BIAW and Sucks.

My position remains substantially unchanged.

I should stress that I am sympathetic to the cause of Uigur autonomy and rights. I worked and lived in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for about six months, living in Nanjing, just north of Shanghai. While there I became quite friendly with some of the Uighurs living there – they are not allowed to leave the PRC, but travel more or less freely within it. For one thing, their food is terrific, best food I ever had in China, which is how I came to be friendly with them.

I have also long opposed the US policy of Gitmo detainees which I see as contrary to international law and a de facto concentration camp. I have also opposed the US policy of rendition flights, and also put forward the fact that our airport has apparently been used to facilitate such renditions.

The thing is, the US government has assured Bermuda, in the form of Dr. Brown, that these four Uighurs are considered innocent. Thats fine. I am not necessarily going to dispute that. But the detainee problem is a US problem. It is US made, and as a result there should be a US solution. Pawning the problem off to smaller countries is a load of bull. If these detainees are innocent, and if the US is not willing to repatriate them to the PRC for the legitimate reason of fearing their resulting persecution there, then the US should take care of them.

I am sure that would upset the Chinese, but surely the US is better able to suffer those consequences than tiny Albania, Palau and now Bermuda?

There are those who will defend this action as a humanitarian action. That is false. Under international law (caveat – I am not a lawyer) as I understand it, the detainees are a US problem and they are obligated to take them in if they are not secure in repatriating them to the PRC.

Its hard not to conclude that Bermuda was either threatened (perhaps as regards our ‘tax haven’ status) or ‘encouraged’ (which would mean bribed) to take these people. That’s not good enough. Any such action, not only would it be unconstitutional (under our current constitutional status with the UK), but it would also amount to treason.

I don’t understand what Dr. Brown was thinking with this decision. Perhaps he felt that he had no choice (depending on the pressure being used) – but still, surely he could have asked the UK for assistance with this? It would have been far better to be straight up with the people and say that the Americans want us to do such and such or they will do this, or, if we do this, the Americans will do this for us, and what do you think about that? But acting as he has, to me amounts to treason, capitulating to a foreign power.

I will be surprised to find that the majority of Bermudians, let alone members of the Party are going to be supportive of this move. If anything this will further encourage those within the Party to move to replace Dr. Brown, and to do it properly, within the means of the Party’s Constitution.

Again, this is nothing against the detainees. But this is a US problem, and the US should take them in, not us.

Perhaps people should start organising a demonstration against this decision outside the US Consulate? And Cabinet too for that matter.

17 thoughts on “Gitmo, Yankee Imperialism & Bermuda – Treason?

  1. all homeless and jobless and underemployed bermudians need to march on dr browns house to get the same assistance that these new imports are getting.

    all bermudians who are not being allowed for whatever reason to build their own paths of success via the lack of opportunity here, also need to march on ole doc browns house and get the same access to success that these new imports will be getting….just like the old imports in the 70s got.

    this is not our problem…usa made this mess and they need to clean it up…we didnt capture these innocent people…usa needs to get over its paranoia, and xenofobic issues and take these refuges. send em to alaska, but again this is NOT our problem…

    we cant even get proper humanitarian aid for born bermudians…lol this is a joke, a sad hilarious joke

    funny how brown is saying this is the right human rights thing to do, while he, his party and civil servents have and still are trampeling over born bermudians human rights….unfair dismissels…trying to force cicil servents to resign, and people who speak out against govt having various applications that are @ various govt agencies getting declined

    funny how we can let these lot in but try to kick out children of bermudians who have some immigration issue

    funny how brown over steps his boundary under the bda constitution and bypasses the uk in this decision.

    very funny how yet another “government decision” is bypassed the floor of the house, and done without consultation with the taxpayers.

    a pattern has been established…

    berkeley job…

    civil servents say no go to proactive…plp govt over rule that….millions go missing

    all details are secret ..even though its the public money

    biu is forgiven its plus million dollar debt….no public consultation, tax payers onec again goes missing

    other similar and all to familiar activity comes to mind….

    nyc tourism office fireings outsourcing mistake and then 28 million outsourced in advertising.

    no public consultation on anything

    this behaviour is a repeat of what we voted out in the frm on the ubp in 98

    no reforms on giving the people more active say in policy or the goings on within the nation.

    so this means what ive seen others here talk about b4…moving away from a political system that has not evolved with the times or evolved with a more educated populations definition of democracy.

    end party politics and come up with a better system of governance

  2. JS – This is unfortunately yet another example of the current PLP hierarchy ignoring, for personal political gain, established procedures and due process enshrined both in our constitution and legislative framework together with the rule of law and international best practices.

    In a single stroke Dr. Brown has chosen to circumvent all prevailing standards of diplomacy, tact and good governance and simultaneously forsaken 400 years of international confidence in our uniquely Bermudian paradigm through a selfish, ill conceived and unhealthy craving for the spotlight. Those PLP members who were previously on the fence regarding continued tolerance of his un-Bermudian leadership style must finally make proactive steps to ensure his permanent departure for the local political dynamic if the PLP are ever to regain the confidence of the Bermuda electorate.

  3. Ewart has basically fessed up that it was his idea. His reason is not unclear at all and is entirely steeped in local politics – he clearly wants to “cause tension between Bermuda and the UK”, following in the footsteps of any number of dictators who stir up trouble abroad to firm up support at home.

    Let’s hope he goes the way of Leopoldi Galtieri of Argentina, the last tinpot idiot to threaten the Brits and think they would sit there and take the abuse. Unfortunately in the years since the Falklands the Royal Navy has been gutted and is largely rusting hulks in Portsmouth harbour while the Iron Lady has given way to the nanny state, but surely they can rustle up a gunboat from somewhere. With any luck they can put the good doctor on the same plane out with the Uighurs and he can join his son in LA.

  4. One wonders how the Chinese will respond, given that they will want the 4 returned to China?

    One thing for sure, neither the US or UK will want to look stupid. Bermuda will be sacrificed politically and there is nothing Brown can do now. The political processes will work around him and without him.

  5. It probably would have helped a little if he and Birch had got their stories straight before Birch went on the radio.

    no, it probably would not have…

    Although it was entertaining hearing the good Colonel force out the nonsense about helping friends when they ask for favours and his one refugee for every 100 years of friendship bit…priceless.

  6. In my opinion, the MAIN issue at hand is that we are being told that NOBODY else was consulted on this issue, just Brown and Birch in secret talks. This is VERY DISTURBING. From what I understand, the U.S. thought the UK had been consulted. I would like the premier to explain why he did not discuss this with the UK.

  7. I suspect the US deliberately did not inform the UK about the discussions, and deliberately did not ask the Premier whether he had spoken to them. I imagine the Americans knew full well that if the UK got involved they would probably reject the detainees. Much better chance of getting rid of them if they only involved the UK when it was a fait accompli.

  8. The more I think about the fiasco the more I think that the arrangement has been done in such a way as to help the UK avoid a direct confrontation with the UK – they have plausible deniability this way. I’ve expanded on this in the more recent post ‘More Thoughts On Gitmo’.

  9. Jonny my understanding form talking to a number of FO staff is that the State Dept were duped into thinking there was a tacit understanding from the HMG – this whole event has been a spectactular fckup by Ewart and despite the warm words he has managed to p1ss of the Brits, the PRC and the State Dept (not Homeland though…)

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  12. And all that read this and others think Rummy is Dummy.

    You haven’t seen anything yet. Everyone knows that some possess ‘Slayton of Hand’..

    Piece of paper found in trash near Parliament Street and Court…..”deal with it like you dealt with me in 1970″..

  13. brown n birch need to be fired and chared with treason for breaking the constitution!!

    NO ONE CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT GANG ACTIVITY WHILE THESE TwO REMAIN OUT OF JAIL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NO ONE SHOULD BE BROUGHT B4 THE COURTS ON WEED CHARGES AS LONG AS THESE TWO REMAIN OUT OF JAIL!!!!!!!!

  14. perhaps the gangs can hire the 4 as consultants so they can be trained in terrorism tactics as well….we would like to sign up for that course….perhaps if bermudians that cant get humanitarian aid from its own govt will then get some if they hae terrorist training under their belts!!!

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